The biggest celebrity stories of 2020
Guilty pleas and prison time
Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli finally met their fates. On May 22, the couple formally pleaded guilty for their roles in a massive college admissions scandal in which they bribed a middleman to get their daughters into the University of Southern California. The admission of guilt was part of a plea deal with prosecutors. (They both pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, and Mossimo also pleaded guilty to honest services wire and mail fraud.) Under the terms of the deal, the “Fuller House” actress was sentenced to two months in prison, a $150,000 fine and two years of supervised release as well as 100 hours of community service. She began her sentence on Oct. 30 and was released on Dec. 28. Mossimo, however, must serve five months behind bars, pay a $250,000 fine, serve two years of supervised release and complete 250 hours of community service. He surrendered to prison authorities in November. (Both reportedly prepared for prison with help from an incarceration expert.) The fallout from the guilty pleas quickly affected their social lives, as they were pushed out of their ritzy country club after fellow members grew incensed about mingling with admitted felons.
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The coronavirus hits Hollywood
For the first few months of the year, most of the country didn’t seem fazed by this thing called the coronavirus. But seemingly overnight, things would dramatically change, particularly after Tom Hanks revealed on March 11 that he and wife Rita Wilson had tested positive for COVID-19 while in Australia. A barrage of celebrities followed in those early months with reveals of their own including Idris Elba, Andy Cohen, Madonna, Pink, Daniel Dae Kim and Colton Underwood. On March 24, Britain’s royal family announced that Prince Charles had also contracted the virus and was self-isolating in Scotland. (The world later learned that Prince William also had COVID-19 around the same time but kept his diagnosis a secret.) The pandemic — which shut down productions, closed theaters and ended concerts for months — would heartbreakingly claim the lives of many famous faces too. On April 1, Fountains of Wayne frontman Adam Schlesinger passed away due to COVID-19 complications. John Prine, Joe Diffie, Nick Cordero and dozens of others also lost their lives early on in the pandemic. Late in 2020, there was a sign of hope, as vaccines began rolling out.
RELATED: Stars diagnosed with COVID-19
Hollywood supports racial injustice protests
On May 25, a Black man named George Floyd changed the country. George died after a white police officer pinned him to the ground by kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes as three other officers watched, even though George told them more than 20 times that he couldn’t breathe, video taken by bystanders and bodycam footage confirmed. His death sparked outrage throughout not only the United States but the world, and Hollywood’s biggest names joined in the demand to end police brutality and racial injustice. For weeks, celebrities such as Jamie Foxx, Ben Affleck, Kristen Stewart, Emily Ratajkowski, Brad Pitt, Norman Reedus and many others participated alongside everyday people in peaceful Black Lives Matter protests and demonstrations in Los Angeles and New York City. Some celebrities got caught up in more chaotic situations with police, which were common in the early days of the protests. Halsey, Madison Beer and Porsha Williams said they were tear gassed at demonstrations they attended. John Cusack said police came at him with batons while he documented the protests in Chicago. Cole Sprouse and Jaime King said they were arrested at protests in Los Angeles. “Insecure” actor Kendrick Sampson said he was hit by rubber bullets at a demonstration. Several celebrities (Chrissy Teigen, Seth Rogen, Drake and more) offered money to bail out protesters who’d been arrested. Meanwhile others expressed themselves in the media or social media. JAY-Z took out full-page ads in newspapers across the country dedicated to George. Hundreds, if not thousands, of celebrities participated in June 2’s Instagram “Black Out,” in which users shared blank black screens, a show of support for Black Lives Matter and peaceful protesting.
RELATED: Stars who came out
In a move that sent shockwaves throughout the world, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan announced on Jan. 8 that they were essentially quitting the royal family, saying they intended to “step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent.” In other words, they’re no longer living off of taxpayers dollars and can earn a living and speak for themselves moving forward. April 1 was the official “Megxit” day, as it marked the first day of the couple’s royal-free lives. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who said goodbye to protocol with a final run of events in the U.K. in March, lived in Los Angeles — the borrowed mogul Tyler Perry’s mansion for a while — after a few months of renting a home in Canada. Queen Elizabeth II reportedly had very little notice of their decision, which they announced formally after a British tabloid leaked it, and was upset, as were Prince Charles and Prince William, who all participated in crisis talks. “The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back, is not one I made lightly,” Harry said on Jan. 19 in his first public comments on the bombshell decision. “It was so many months of talks after so many years of challenges. And I know I haven’t always gotten it right, but as far as this goes, there really was no other option.” Harry, an army veteran, was required to give up all of his military appointments and the couple agreed not to use their His/Her Royal Highness titles. In their post-royal lives, Meghan hit the ground running, narrating a nature documentary for Disney+ called “Elephant.” The couple also announced their new foundation, Archewell, volunteered in L.A. by making and delivering food to those in need amidst the COVID-19 crisis and in May celebrated son Archie’s first birthday. Over the summer, they moved to Montecito, California, a wealthy enclave about two hours north of Hollywood where they purchased a $14 million house. As the year went on, they announced major deals with Netflix and Spotify.
RELATED: Couples with big age gaps
Universally beloved “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek passed away on Nov. 8 following a well-documented battle with pancreatic cancer. Alex had recorded several weeks of shows in the time leading up to his passing, and those began airing on Nov. 9 (they’ll run through the Christmas holidays). “Jeopardy!” executive producer Mike Richards opened that show by paying tribute to Alex. Then, before the new episode aired, the stage went dark. “We love him and we miss him already,” Mike told CNN and the “Today” show. Many in Hollywood were heartbroken over his death. Ryan Reynolds said, “He was gracious and funny. In addition to being curious, stalwart, generous, reassuring and of course, Canadian.” John Legend added, “I was obsessed with Jeopardy as a nerdy kid growing up in Ohio. I’ve loved and revered Alex Trebek since I can remember.” On Nov. 23, Sony Pictures Television announced that “Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time” tournament winner Ken Jennings will be the first of multiple guest hosts to tape new episodes of the game show when it resumes production in late November.
On Dec. 1, Elliot Page — the actor previously known as Ellen Page — took to social media to publicly come out as transgender. The “Juno” and “Umbrella Academy” star will use the pronouns he/they. “I feel lucky to be writing this. To be here. To have arrived at this place in my life,” he wrote in part in a lengthy post. “I can’t begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self. … I love that I am trans. And I love that I am queer.” The announcement came six years after Elliot publicly came out as gay during the 2014 Human Rights Campaign’s Time to Thrive conference benefiting LGBT youth in Las Vegas. In January 2018, Elliot announced his marriage to dancer-choreographer Emma Portner.
Dramatic ‘The Bachelorette’ beginning
Clare Crawley might now be forever known as the woman who “blew up ‘The Bachelorette.'” This season started with one lead woman, Clare, but end with a different lead, Tayshia Adams — and none of it was planned! In early 2020, producers announced that Clare would headline the 16th season of “The Bachelorette,” making her the oldest woman to lead the show. However, Clare fell in love with suitor Dale Moss in the very, very early stages of filming and didn’t want to continue dating the other guys. Clare and Dale abruptly exited the show — they got engaged first — which left producers in need of a new lead since filming was only a few weeks in. Enter Tayshia, who inherited 16 of Clare’s guys (producers also added four more newbies to the mix). She accepted a proposal from suitor Zac Clark on the Dec. 22 season finale. Oh yeah, somewhere along the way, Chris Harrison had to temporarily bow out of hosting duties in order to quarantine because he took one of his kids to college. The most dramatic season yet?
A king laid to rest
Wakanda forever. Chadwick Boseman, who famously played King T’Challa in “Black Panther,” shockingly passed away on Aug. 28 following a previously undisclosed battle with cancer. His family said the actor was initially diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in 2016, and it progressed to stage 4. His death sparked a wave of awareness and donations to organizations that specialize in researching colon cancer. Marvel Comics had previously announced that it was working on a “Black Panther” sequel, but that’s now up in the air. For Disney, which owns Marvel, recasting main characters is nothing new. However, fans have already demanded that no one else ever play King T’Challa again.
End of an era
The end is near. On Sept. 8, the Kardashian-Jenner family announced that the next season of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” will be the last, ending an impressive 14-year run. “To our amazing fans — it is with heavy hearts that we’ve made the difficult decision as a family to say goodbye to ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians,'” a statement from the family read. “After what will be 14 years, 20 seasons, hundreds of episodes and numerous spinoff shows, we are beyond grateful to all of you who’ve watched us for all of these years — through the good times, the bad times, the happiness, the tears and the many relationships and children. We’ll forever cherish the wonderful memories and countless people we’ve met along the way.” Khloe Kardashian and Scott Disick were allegedly the most upset about the decision — reports claimed they wanted to keep it going for an easy payday. Later in the year, the family announced they’d inked a major deal with Disney-owned Hulu to return to the spotlight with various projects beginning in late 2021.
Allegations of unkind behavior
Ellen DeGeneres has long championed kindness on her talk show, but her own brand of kindness was called into question through the spring and summer. Claims of bad behavior went viral in March after comedian Kevin T. Porter asked fans to tell their most “insane” stories of “Ellen being mean.” Many obliged and shared stories of Ellen’s allegedly demeaning behavior. Then on July 1, a report from The Sun said there was talk that “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” could be getting canceled amid falling ratings and reports that the comedian was “rude” to her staff. Other reports quoted former staffers who shared stories describing a toxic workplace. After much of the dust settled, Ellen tried to repair her battered image. On Aug. 17, Variety reported that “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” had parted ways with three senior producers in the wake of ongoing criticism of the show’s culture and allegations of bad behavior. That same day, the show’s resident DJ, Stephen “tWitch” Boss, was promoted to co-executive producer. Ellen also reportedly apologized to her staff on Aug. 17, saying she’s “not perfect. She addressed the scandal on the season premiere of her 18th season. “I learned that things happened here that never should have happened. I take that very seriously and I want to say I am so sorry to the people that were affected. I know that I am in a position of privilege and power and with that comes responsibility and I take responsibility for what happens at my show,” she said. “The truth is I am that person that you see on TV.” In December, Ellen endured another setback: She was diagnosed with COVID-19.
Chrissy Teigen and John Legend endured a family tragedy. On Sept. 30, the model and cookbook author announced that they’d suffered a pregnancy loss when she lost their third child, a son, at 20 weeks gestation due to a partial placental abruption. “We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn’t enough,” she wrote in an Instagram post. “We never decide on our babies’ names until the last possible moment after they’re born, just before we leave the hospital. But we, for some reason, had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack. So he will always be Jack to us. Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever.” In a gut-wrenching tweet on Sept. 30, Chrissy wrote, “Driving home from the hospital with no baby. How can this be real.”
Hollywood lost an icon early in the year. Kirk Douglas, who had a six-decade career that saw him star in “Spartacus,” “Champion” and other memorable projects, passed away on Feb. 5. Kirk’s son Michael Douglas announced the news. “It is with tremendous sadness that my brothers I announce that Kirk Douglas left us today at the age of 103. To the world, he was a legend, an actor from the golden age of movies who lived well into his golden years, a humanitarian whose commitment to justice and the causes he believed in set a standard of us all to aspire to,” Michael said on Instagram of his Oscar-winning father. “But to me and my brothers Joel and Peter he was simply dad, to [my wife] Catherine [Zeta-Jones], a wonderful father-in-law, to his grandchildren and great grandchildren, their loving grandfather, and to his wife Anne, a wonderful husband.” Hollywood reacted to the news with many, many tributes. Catherine posted a touching photo of herself kissing her father-in-law on the cheek. “To my darling Kirk, I shall love you for the rest of my life. I miss you already. Sleep tight…” she wrote.
The most dramatic finale yet
You watch “The Bachelor” for the drama, and the show delivered this year! The season finale of the hit ABC show aired on March 10 with Peter Weber asking Hannah Ann Sluss to marry him. She said yes. However, things changed once filming ended and the duo split after Peter couldn’t stop thinking about runner-up Madison Prewett, who left him on the show over their lifestyle differences. After Hannah had her say (and boy did she ever!), Peter was reunited with Madison, something that didn’t sit well with Peter’s mom, Barbara, who was visibly disgusted. Mama Weber didn’t hold back, vocalizing her displeasure with Madison. “He’s going to have to fail to succeed,” she told host Chris Harrison of her son. “All his friends, all his family, everyone that knows him knows that it’s not going to work.” She was right. A few days later, the duo split. Then, later in the month, Peter was spotted getting flirty with lawyer Kelly Flanagan, who he eliminated during the season. Peter and Kelly are now dating.
“Glee” star Naya Rivera, who played Santana Lopez on the hit FOX show for six seasons, went missing on the afternoon of July 8 after taking Josey, her then-4-year-old son with ex-husband Ryan Dorsey, out on Southern California’s Lake Piru. The actress-singer had rented a pontoon boat for them to enjoy the water but three hours later, it was spotted adrift with only Josey asleep and alone on board. Authorities launched a massive search for Naya, who grew up nearby and often visited the man-made lake over the years, but the following day announced that it had tragically turned from a rescue to a recovery mission and she was presumed dead. After authorities found Naya’s body on July 13, a Ventura County Sheriff’s spokesman detailed her final moments. The actress, authorities believe, was swimming with her son when the water got too rough. She “mustered the energy” to heroically save her son, they said, boosting him back up into the boat before she disappeared into the water. On July 14, the coroner confirmed that Naya, 33, died of accidental drowning. That same day, “Glee” creators started a college fund for Josey.
Simon Cowell broke his back while riding his electric bike in Los Angeles. “Some good advice… If you buy an electric trail bike, read the manual before you ride it for the first time,” he tweeted on Aug. 9. “I have broken part of my back. Thank you to everyone for your kind messages.” According to witnesses of Simon’s accident, speed was a factor, as he was thrown in the air after the bike did a “giant wheelie.” Page Six reported that Simon narrowly avoided being paralyzed. “He did a turn in his courtyard, changed gear, and then the bike went into a wheelie and threw him off the back,” a source said. “Simon was in complete agony and was stretchered out of his home and taken in an ambulance to hospital.” The source continued, “Friends at the scene quickly checked that he could move fingers and toes… When he fell off the bike, he landed right on his back, which broke in a number of places. He had to have a metal rod inserted into his back.” After the injury, Kelly Clarkson took his place as a judge on “America’s Got Talent.”
Harvey Weinstein is no longer a free man. On March 11, the disgraced former movie mogul was sentenced to 23 years in prison for rape and sexual assault. Harvey had previously been accused of using his influence to take advantage of dozens of women. Officially, he will serve 20 years in prison for criminal sexual act and three years in prison for rape. The sentences will run consecutively. “I really feel remorse for this situation,” he said in court, according to CNN. “I feel it deeply in my heart. I will spend my time really caring and really trying to be a better person. I’m not going to say these aren’t great people, I had wonderful times with these people, you know. It is just I’m totally confused and I think men are confused about all of these issues.” Many in Hollywood applauded the harsh sentence. As if that weren’t enough, Harvey, who quickly became a pariah in the industry, also reportedly contracted the coronavirus in late March. (Though according to later reports, he was sick with suspected COVID-19 in November.) On June 30, it was announced that his victims had won a $19 million class action settlement, though in July, a judge upended the decision and its since continued to play out in court.
Jimmy Kimmel had some explaining to do. In June, the late night host issued an apology for using blackface and insensitive racial language in past comedy skits. “I have long been reluctant to address this, as I knew doing so would be celebrated as a victory by those who equate apologies with weakness and cheer for leaders who use prejudice to divide us. That delay was a mistake,” he said. One of the biggest issues that people had was with Jimmy’s imitation of NBA player Karl Malone in the ’90s. “I never considered that this might be seen as anything other than an imitation of a fellow human being,” he said. Jimmy has also imitated other celebrities, like Oprah Winfrey, which mostly happened on “The Man Show,” which aired from 1999 to 2004. “Looking back, many of these sketches are embarrassing, and it is frustrating that these thoughtless moments have become a weapon used by some to diminish my criticisms of social and other injustices,” Jimmy said this week. The comedian said he’s matured since then. “I know that this will not be the last I hear of this and that it will be used again to try to quiet me. I love this country too much to allow that,” he said. “I won’t be bullied into silence by those who feign outrage to advance their oppressive and genuinely racist agendas.” Around the same time, Jimmy Fallon and Howard Stern also apologized for their own misguided blackface comedy sketches in years past.
Pamela Anderson said “I do” for the fifth time… but it was over in just a few days. The former “Baywatch” star married movie mogul Jon Peters, who produced “A Star is Born,” on Jan. 20. The pair previously dated 30 years ago. Jon confirmed the nuptials, telling The Hollywood Reporter, “There are beautiful girls everywhere. I could have my pick, but — for 35 years — I’ve only wanted Pamela. She makes me wild — in a good way. She inspires me. I protect her and treat her the way she deserves to be treated.” Pam confirmed the nuptials with a lengthy poem, writing, “We love each other without conditions.” The love wouldn’t last. Just 12 days after they got married, a split was confirmed in early February. On Feb. 10, Jon told Page Six he was hurt that things imploded with Pam after he paid off her sizable debts. “I dropped everything for Pam. She had almost $200,000 in bills and no way to pay it so I paid it and this is the thanks I get. There’s no fool like an old fool,” Jon said. Pam denied it. A previous report claimed Jon proposed to Pam over lunch with family and friends.
Jeff Bridges took to Twitter to reveal that he has lymphoma. “Although it is a serious disease, I feel fortunate that I have a great team of doctors and the prognosis is good,” the Oscar-winning actor wrote on Oct. 19. “I’m starting treatment and will keep you posted on my recovery.” He added, “I’m profoundly grateful for the love and support from my family and friends.” After Jeff’s announcement, many of entertainment’s biggest names voiced their support for him. Jeff continued to give updates about his treatments. On his personal website, Jeff wrote, “This cancer thing is bringing on feelings of preciousness, and gratitude, and good old fashion love, and lots of it, big time.” He added, “I’m feeling so much of it comin’ my way, and man, I appreciate it. It’s contagious, all this love, like some kind of positive virus.”
OMG! It happened! It finally happened! On Jan. 19, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston were actually photographed together. The semi-public run-in happened backstage at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, where both took home some hardware. In fact, when Brad won his award for his work in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” cameras cut to Jen, who smiled and clapped. Brad was actually backstage when Jen won her award for her performance in “The Morning Show.” “Wow!” he excitedly exclaimed. He then smiled from ear-to-ear while watching her on the monitor. When told of Brad’s reaction, Jen said, “That’s so sweet.” She added, “It’s just, we’ve all grown up together, we really have and it just feels like a really fun night to celebrate and, you know, cheer each other on and keep working.” The two, who were famously married from 2000 to 2005, have been friendly for years, but they’d managed to avoid shutterbugs… until the SAG Awards. Brad later reportedly matched Jen’s $1 million donation to an anti-racism organization in June. In September, they reunited again — albeit virtually — for a charity script reading of “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”
Aerosmith’s longtime drummer, Joey Kramer, felt like the band was treating him like a rag doll during one of its biggest celebratory moments. In January, he sued the band for allegedly freezing him out of several upcoming big events, including the 2020 Grammy Awards and MusiCares gala, where the group was being honored. Joey’s hope was that a judge would order the band put him behind the drums, despite his not having played with the group since April 2019. Joey said the band even forced him to essentially audition for his job after he took a leave of absence (the band thought his audition lacked energy). “This is not about money. I am being deprived of the opportunity to be recognized along with my peers for our collective, lifetime contributions to the music industry,” he said in statement. On Jan . 22, a judge sided with Aerosmith, ruling that the band had no requirement to let him play the events, and also agreed that he was probably a little rusty from his six-month absence. Aerosmith, however, encouraged Joey to attend the MusiCares gala honoring the legendary band on Jan. 24, but they prevented him from performing. (He did join Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and crew on stage to accept their award.) Joe was back performing with the band in February when he rejoined them for their Las Vegas residency show.
Roy Horn, one half of the famed Siegfried & Roy duo, passed away on May 8 of COVID-19 complications. He was 75. For decades, “Siegfried & Roy” had a huge presence on the Las Vegas Strip — the magicians found a permanent home there in 1990 when the Mirage opened. Their act quickly became one of the hottest tickets in the city, but the show came to a sudden and shocking end in October 2003 when Roy was mauled by one of their tigers during a performance. On May 10, Siegfried Fischbacher, Roy’s longtime stage partner, said Roy had been cremated and that his ashes would remain at the Las Vegas estate they shared, which is known as Little Bavaria. “His urn stays with me,” Siegfried told German publication Bild. “I put it in our chapel. We discussed that during our lifetime. Roy never let his mother Johanna’s urn and that of our deceased animals be buried, but kept them in his bedroom.” He added, “Roy built ‘Little Bavaria’ for me; I will never leave that. He is everywhere. In the house, in the garden. He has now walked through the gates of heaven, but his soul has stayed with me. Little Bavaria has now become a monument to friendship. And Roy’s home remains forever.”
We’ll miss you, gambler. On March 19, Kenny Rogers, a three-time Grammy winner with a career spanning six decades, passed away at 81. The legendary singer was in hospice care in Georgia at the time of his death. “Kenny Rogers left an indelible mark on the history of American music. His songs have endeared music lovers and touched the lives of millions around the world,” his family said in a statement. Kenny’s death sparked mourning throughout the entertainment industry. Longtime friend and duet partner Dolly Parton said, “I loved Kenny with all my heart. My heart’s broken.” Lionel Richie added, “So much laughter so many adventures to remember, my heart is broken.”
On Dec. 15, The Sun leaked audio of Tom Cruise laying into crew members for violating COVID-19 protocols on the set of “Mission: Impossible 7.” In the expletive-laced tirade, Tom — who’s producing the film as well as starring — didn’t hold back. “They are back there in Hollywood making movies right now because of us, because they believe in us and what we’re doing. We are creating thousands of jobs…,” he yells. “I don’t ever want to see it again. Ever! And if you don’t do it, you’re fired, and I see you do it again, you’re f****** gone.” Tom called the “M:I 7” production the “gold standard.” In his outburst, he noted how important following the rules is from a financial standpoint. “You can tell it to the people who are losing their f****** homes because our industry is shut down. It’s not going to put food on their table or pay for their college education. That’s what I sleep with every night,” he said. “So I’m sorry, I am beyond your apologies.” After the rant, many celebrities backed Tom’s feelings. Not everyone applauded it, however, as reports claimed at least five staffers quit after Tom’s outburst. Several former high-profile Scientologists also spoke out to criticize the actor’s approach, with Leah Remini characterizing the outburst as “all for publicity.”
Lea Michele didn’t see her summer turning out this way. On June 1, the actress tweeted her outrage about the death of George Floyd. After doing so, Samantha Marie Ware, who starred alongside Lea on “Glee,” called out Lea for making her time on the set “a living hell.” Afterward, others in the spotlight including actor-musician Dabier, piled on. “GIRL YOU WOULDNT LET ME SIT AT THE TABLE WITH THE OTHER CAST MEMBERS CAUSE ‘I DIDNT BELONG THERE,'” he tweeted. Heather Morris said Lea was “unpleasant” to work with on “Glee.” Lea’s “Spring Awakening” co-star Gerard Canonico said she was “nothing but a nightmare” to work with, saying she made him feel like he “didn’t belong there.” “The Real Housewives of New York City” alum Aviva Drescher wasn’t surprised by the negative feelings, saying Lea was once “very unkind” to her. Amid the on-set behavior implications, Hello Fresh dropped Lea as a spokeswoman. Lea, who publicly announced her pregnancy in early May, responded to the claims on June 3, saying she’s now realized her actions hurt people. “Whether it was my privileged position and perspective that caused me to be perceived as insensitive or inappropriate at times or whether it was just my immaturity and me just being unnecessarily difficult, I apologize for my behavior and for any pain which I have caused,” she tweeted. “We all can grow and change and I have definitely used these past several months to reflect on my own shortcomings.” The apology didn’t work, as many branded it a “non-apology.”
Lengthy COVID-19 battle
Broadway star Nick Cordero passed away on July 5 after a 95-day battle that began with COVID-19. His wife, performer-turned-fitness instructor Amanda Kloots, announced the news on Instagram. “I am in disbelief and hurting everywhere. My heart is broken as I cannot imagine our lives without him,” she wrote, adding, “I will love you forever and always my sweet man.” Nick’s death came after he suffered a litany of health complications including the amputation of his right leg due to clotting issues. The Tony-nominated actor, who also leaves behind 1-year-old son Elvis, first entered the ICU on March 31. For six weeks of that hospitalization, he remained in a coma. While unconscious, he suffered two mini strokes, septic shock and fungus in his lungs and needed a temporary pacemaker to assist his heart.
Popping the question
Finally! On Oct. 27 — after five years of dating — “The Voice” coaches Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani announced their engagement. “@blakeshelton yes please! 💍🙏🏻 gx,” the No Doubt singer captioned an Instagram photo showing off her ring. The country music star posted the same pic on Instagram, writing, “Hey @gwenstefani thanks for saving my 2020… And the rest of my life. I love you. I heard a YES!”
Kelly Preston passed away on July 12 following a secret two-year-battle with breast cancer. John Travolta, Kelly’s husband of 28 years, announced the news. “It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you that my beautiful wife Kelly has lost her two-year battle with breast cancer. She fought a courageous fight with the love and support of so many,” he began a message on Instagram. “My family and I will forever be grateful to her doctors and nurses at MD Anderson Cancer Center, all the medical centers that have helped, as well as her many friends and loved ones who have been by her side. Kelly’s love and life will always be remembered. I will be taking some time to be there for my children who have lost their mother, so forgive me in advance if you don’t hear from us for a while. But please know that I will feel your outpouring of love in the weeks and months ahead as we heal.”
Katie Holmes has a new man — New York City chef Emilio Vitolo. Early in September, they were seen on a dinner date. A few days later, they were photographed smooching, essentially confirming the romance, and the PDA only ramped up from there. The relationship wasn’t without some controversy. On Sept. 9, the Daily Mail reported that Emilio was allegedly in a two-year relationship with another woman when he started seeing Katie. Emilio reported dumped the woman over text message after hearing that his exploits with Katie were about to hit the Internet (his mom was apparently upset about how he handled things too). Still, in the months that followed, Ka-milio were inseparable.
Sir Sean Connery, one of the defining actors of an era, passed away on Oct. 31 at 90. While he had a five-decade movie career, Sean was best known for playing James Bond, which he did in seven films. He’s regarded as the best to ever take on the famous spy. Sean, who won an Academy Award in 1989 for his performance in “The Untouchables,” was also awarded a knighthood in 2000 for his contribution to the arts. He was a true legend. Following his death, many in Hollywood honored the man forever known as “007,” including past and present James Bond stars. Current 007 Daniel Craig said Sean “defined an era and a style.” He added, “The wit and charm he portrayed on screen could be measured in mega watts.” Former 007 Pierce Brosnan said, “You were mighty in every way, as an actor and as a man, and will remain so till the end of time.”
“King” of the world
There was a moment during the spring where you could argue that the most buzzed-about person in the country was a zookeeper in Oklahoma. You couldn’t go anywhere without hearing about Netflix’s massive hit docu-series “Tiger King” and its over-the-top star, Joe Exotic, who was incarcerated in a murder-for-hire plot involving his rival, animal activist Carole Baskin. In March, Jared Leto dressed up like Joe and live-tweeted about the show. Cardi B wanted to start a GoFundMe to free Joe. On Halloween, “Tiger King” enjoyed a resurgence, as nearly everyone channeled their best Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin with epic costumes. While many in the country were introduced to Joe and personalities like Doc Antle and Jeff Lowe via the runaway hit series, it turns out that a slew of incredibly famous faces have known about these guys for a while. Britney Spears, for example, has a surprising connection to Doc, and it involves one of her most iconic moments ever: In 2001, the pop star memorably performed “I’m a Slave 4 U” at the MTV Video Music Awards — and Doc was on stage with her to handle one of his tigers. Miranda Lambert had an experience with Joe in 2017. And, despite Joe’s imprisonment — some of which was in solitary confinement — we might not have seen the end of him. There are reports that he’s signed on to participate in an upcoming Investigation Discovery series. Carole, meanwhile, competed on “Dancing With the Stars” in the fall.
Surprise albums bookend another sale of her masters
Taylor Swift dropped not one but two acclaimed surprise albums in 2020 — “folklore” in July and “evermore” in December. She also continued to feud with music manager and label exec Scooter Braun, who in the fall closed on a deal to sell Taylor’s masters to an investment fund, later identified as the Disney family’s Shamrock Holdings private equity firm, for “north of $300 million.” Taylor — who began re-recording her first six albums the same month — hit back after the news broke, tearing into Scooter and detailing how her team “attempted to enter into negotiations” but that they were foiled as his team “wanted me to sign an ironclad NDA stating I would never say another word about Scooter Braun unless it was positive, before we could even look at the financial records of BMLG (which is always the first step in a purchase of this nature.” She explained she would “have to sign a document that would silence me forever before I could even have a chance to bid on my own work. My legal team said that this is absolutely NOT normal, and they’ve never seen an NDA like this presented unless it was to silence an assault accuser by paying them off. … These master recordings were not for sale to me.” Read her lengthy statement in full here.
Britney Spears’ battle with her father and the conservatorship he presides over has gotten ugly, and she now wants the court to open up her conservatorship case and make it public. On Sept. 3, the pop star, via her lawyers, filed paperwork to suggest that she doesn’t trust her father, Jamie Spears, or his handling of her conservatorship, which has guided Brit’s life since 2008. She also sided with the #FreeBritney movement, which has argued vehemently for the singer to be released from conservatorship. Britney’s team said there’s no reason to keep the case private since no sensitive issues regarding her minor children will be disclosed. In a separate court filing on Sept. 14, Britney said she was done performing so long as her dad controls the conservatorship.
Sean Penn secretly wed during the pandemic. On Aug. 3, the 59-year-old actor confirmed that he married actress Leila George, 28. “We did a COVID wedding,” he told late night host Seth Meyers. “By that I mean it was a county commissioner on Zoom, we were at the house, my two children and her brother, and we did it that way.” A friend of the couple broke the news a few days before. “We are so happy for @leilageorge #seanpenn getting married. We love you,” Irena Medavoy, the wife of “Black Swan” producer Mike Medavoy, wrote on Instagram, while also sharing an image of Leila’s oval sapphire ring.
“Judge Judy” Sheindlin’s 25-year relationship with CBS will soon be adjourned. In March, the popular TV judge announced that she will end her long-standing partnership with CBS after finishing the current season of her wildly successful court TV show. Once the contract is over in 2021, the reality TV star will start a new show called “Judy Justice” on another network. After Judy’s March 2 announcement, a report revealed she and CBS have been at odds behind the scenes for months. The ongoing disagreements led her to call it quits, TMZ explained, noting that Judy’s feud with the network began after top exec Les Moonves was ousted in 2018. Judy and the new leadership “haven’t been seeing eye-to-eye on a lot of things she and Les were square on,” the webloid said.
A guest-less wedding and baby news
Surprise! Bindi Irwin tied the knot with longtime love Chandler Powell on March 25 at the Australia Zoo, the same place they got engaged in 2019. The guest list included… nobody. The couple had planned a larger wedding but scrapped all that because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The only people on hand, other than the bride and groom, were some family members including mom Terri Irwin. Her brother, Robert Irwin, walked her down the aisle. “We held a small ceremony and I married my best friend,” Bindi said on Instagram. “We’ve planned this beautiful day for nearly a year and had to change everything, as we didn’t have guests at our wedding.” She added, “This was a very difficult decision but important to keep everyone safe. We wish all of our friends and family could have been there with us.” Bindi and Chandler lit a candle in honor of her late father, Steve Irwin. The wedding was filmed and in April, a wedding special finally aired… in America. Although the Irwin family is beloved everywhere, they’re essentially royalty in Australia. Many assumed that the wedding would air Down Under first. Instead, Australians waited to watch the “Crikey! It’s the Irwins” wedding special in July 18. Needless to say, the Aussies weren’t happy about it. One thing they can smile about? In August, Bindi and Chandler announced more happy news: They’re expecting! Their daughter is due to arrive in 2021.
Forever an icon
Regis Philbin, a man beloved by multiple generations and once dubbed “the hardest working man in showbiz,” passed away on July 25 from a heart attack caused by heart disease. He was 88. Regis got his start in Hollywood in the ’50s, and became a large part of many American’s mornings for decades when he co-hosted “Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee.” He also famously hosted “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” from 1999 to 2002. He was an absolute TV icon and even held the Guinness World Record for most hours on camera on United States television. Regis was buried on the campus of his beloved alma mater, the University of Notre Dame.
She said what?
Despite backlash, Kelly Dodd didn’t learn her lesson. On April 21, “The Real Housewives of Orange County” star Kelly Dodd issued an apology after calling COVID-19 “God’s way of thinning the herd” in a since-deleted Instagram post. “I feel bad for all the families who have lost loved ones… I want to apologize to anyone who got offended,” she said. She issued a separate apology calling her comments “so ridiculous and so stupid.” After that, she compared the coronavirus to the flu and seemed insensitive about the deaths. Then after that, she celebrated that no one was wearing masks at lunch, even claiming, “Yeah, no one’s wearing masks here in Orange County. Yup, because no one is dying here of the virus.” (At the time, 133 people in Orange County had died.) Afterward, she attempted to clarify her comments. For a while, all was quiet. Then, in October at her bridal shower, she donned a hat that read “Drunk Wives Matter,” which many felt was a jab at the Black Lives Matter movement. She was lambasted for that, and she was blasted further as few people were wearing masks at her party amid the ongoing pandemic. “No social distancing here no mask, haven’t we learned yet? Look at Trump and he’s in the hospital,” one person said, to which Kelly replied, “He’s 74 and fat!!” After another person slammed her for that response, to which Kelly said, “You get sick and get better!!” After all that, she married Fox News correspondent Rick Leventhal on Oct. 10.
Kelly Clarkson has ended her seven-year marriage to music manager Brandon Blackstock. On June 4, the singer and talk show host quietly filed divorce paperwork in Los Angeles. Prior to the filing, Kelly had been quarantining with the talent manager and their children at their Montana ranch. Most friends were shocked by the divorce news, which grew more complicated by Kelly and Brandon’s working relationship. Later in the year, his father Narvel Blackstock’s talent management company sued Kelly for unpaid commissions from her work on her new talk show and her role as a coach on “The Voice.” She hit back in September, accusing the company of violating the California Labor Code. In November, a judge granted Kelly primary custody of their kids with visitation for Brandon, who then demanded $436K a month in spousal and child support.
POTUS and the potty
Where to begin here… In July, Kanye West announced that he was running for president of the United States as a member of the “Birthday Party.” On July 19, he held a campaign rally in South Carolina that was widely viewed as a disaster — at one point he revealed he and wife Kim Kardashian West almost aborted their eldest child and admitted Kim might want to divorce him (something he later tweeted he’d himself been considering). There was speculation that Kanye was having a bipolar episode, which Kim later all but confirmed. The next day, Kanye went on a Twitter rant in which he shaded mother-in-law Kris Jenner and claimed Kim tried to involuntarily commit him to a mental hospital. In mid-September, Kanye then unloaded on the music industry, claiming it was a “modern day slave ship.” Soon, the rapper began advocating for artists and athletes, especially Black artists, to free themselves from their contracts. He then took his feud to another level. On Sept. 16, he posted a video on Twitter that appears to show him urinating on one of his Grammys. Earlier in the week, Kanye had been railing about Universal Records not selling him his master recordings. He then uploaded copies of his 10 Universal Records contracts and implored “every lawyer in the world” to look at them. After his rant (and urination video), Kanye was kicked off of Twitter for 12 hours. He also said he would help longtime nemesis Taylor Swift get her own masters back from Scooter Braun — but in November, Scooter sold them to the Disney family’s private investment arm for more than $300M. Oh yeah, spoiler alert: Kanye didn’t win the presidency.
Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis quietly split early in the year, ending their engagement of seven years, People magazine reported on Nov. 13. “It’s been amicable and they’ve transitioned into a great co-parenting routine. The children are the priority and the heart of the family’s relationship,” a source said. The actress-director and the “Saturday Night Live” alum, who share a son and a daughter, were first linked in 2011 and got engaged the following year.
Diversity pleas answered
Matt James is making history. On June, 12, “The Bachelor” announced that Matt will be the leading man for its next season, making him the franchise’s first-ever Black male lead. “The Bachelorette” had its only Black lead, Rachel Lindsay, in 2017. Matt, a former college quarterback and teammate of Bachelor Nation fan favorite Tyler Cameron, was previously cast as one of Clare Crawley’s “The Bachelorette” contestants. The move came following calls and petitions demanding more diversity on the popular ABC show. “We know we have a responsibility to make sure the love stories we’re seeing onscreen are representative of the world we live in, and we are proudly in service to our audience,” ABC said in statement. “This is just the beginning, and we will continue to take action with regard to diversity issues on this franchise. We feel so privileged to have Matt as our first Black Bachelor and we cannot wait to embark on this journey with him.” Matt’s season debuts on ABC on Jan. 4, 2021.
“Vanderpump Rules” fires cast members
“Vanderpump Rules” brought the hammer down. On June 9, Bravo announced that Stassi Schroeder, Kristen Doute, Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni would not return to the hit reality show. Stassi and Kristen came under fire for past racist acts, which were brought to light by Faith Stowers, who appeared on seasons 4 and 6. Faith, the only Black cast member during her time on the show years earlier, accused Stassi and Kristen of calling the cops on her in 2018. During the fallout from Stassi and Kristen’s actions, racist tweets from Brett and Max resurfaced. Following the firings, many from the Bravo world reacted, and Faith said she feels “vindicated.” The year wasn’t all bad for Stassi though, as she and Beau Clark announced they’re expecting their first child in early 2021. In September, Stassi and Beau secretly married.
Devastating house fire
On Aug. 9, Rachael Ray’s upstate New York mansion was destroyed when an inferno ripped through it. The fire, it was later determined, started in the chimney. The affable chef was able to escape the blaze along with her husband, mother and dog. “We’re all okay,” she said in a statement. “These are the days we all have to be grateful for what we have, not what we’ve lost.” The home is located in a fairly remote area, so there are no nearby fire hydrants. Firefighters had to use pond water to douse the flames. Rachael had been filming her eponymous talk show and cooking segments at the home amid the coronavirus pandemic. On Sept. 14, Rachael shared Instagram images of the charred remains of the home. “When one chapter ends, a new one begins,” she wrote.
Another shot at love
Duane Chapman has found love again. Ten months after his wife, Beth, passed away following a cancer battle, the “Dog the Bounty Hunter” star got engaged. In the spring, Duane popped the question to Francie Frane in the Colorado home they now share, he said in a May 4 interview with Britain’s The Sun. Francie, who lost a husband to cancer six months before Beth died, said she wasn’t expecting a proposal. Recounting that special moment, she said Dog told her, “I know that God brought you into my life and I don’t want to spend one moment of it without you.” Francie added that Duane “got down on one knee and he opened the ring box and he said, ‘Will you marry me and spend the rest of our lives together?’ Who can say no to that? It was wonderful.” Dog said he wants “biggest wedding there’s ever been.” Duane’s family — who aren’t ones to mince words — have made it clear that they support the union.
Divorce filing drama
All Mary-Kate Olsen wanted to do was get divorced from her husband of four years, Olivier Sarkozy. In mid-April, the former child star-turned-fashion mogul tried filing in New York, but she was informed that New York City courts would not accept divorce filings due to the coronavirus pandemic unless it was an emergency, which she claimed it was. “This application is an emergency because my husband expects me to move out of our home on Monday, May 18, 2020, in the middle of New York City being on pause due to COVID-19,” she said in her paperwork. “I am petrified that my husband is trying to deprive me of the home we have lived in and if he is successful, I will not only lose my home but I risk losing my personal property as well.” She claimed that the only way to protect her property was through a divorce filing, which would trigger an automatic court order preventing him from disposing of her belongings. The court found it was hardly an emergency and told her she had to wait. One week later, on the first day NYC courts started accepting electronic filings again, the “Full House” alum filed. “It was clear my marriage was over,” she said in the official documents. “The relationship has broken down irretrievably.” Multiple reports claimed one issue is that they disagreed on having children (she allegedly wanted them, he didn’t).
EVH forever. On Oct. 6, Eddie Van Halen passed away at 65 following a lengthy battle with cancer. Eddie’s son, Wolfgang, announced the news on Instagram. The Van Halen co-founder was surrounded by his family — including his current wife and ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli, Wolf’s mom — at a Santa Monica, California, hospital when he took his final breath. The musician — widely considered one the greatest guitar players of all time — had been traveling to and from Germany for years to seek treatment. Wolf told Howard Stern in a November interview, “At the end of 2017, he was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and the doctors were like, ‘You have six weeks.’ And then he went to Germany. Whatever the f*** they do over there, it’s amazing because I got three more years with him.” Eddie was previously diagnosed with tongue cancer in 2000. Following his death, artists from all walks of music publicly mourned his death. Gene Simmons called EVH a “Guitar God.” John Mayer called him “a true virtuoso.” Keith Urban was shattered over the news. “There are lots of great guitar players in the world, but very VERY few true innovators,” he wrote. “Players who seem to have arrived from a far distant planet , and who bring a completely new color to the rainbow. Eddie Van Halen was this and so much more.”
So, Kylie Jenner isn’t a billionaire after all? In March 2019, Forbes put the “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” star on the cover of its magazine and touted her as the world’s youngest self-made billionaire for the second year in a row. Fast forward to May 2020, when Forbes took it all back, declaring that Kylie, momager Kris Jenner and their team had exaggerated the size and value of her Kylie Cosmetics company “for years.” The title of the new report was loaded — “Kylie Jenners Web of Lies — and Why She’s No Longer a Billionaire.” Forbes further claimed that Kylie likely forged the tax returns she showed them, inflating her numbers. Kylie (and much of Twitter) shrugged it off, wondering why her bank account was of such importance given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the unrest over racial injustice following George Floyd’s death. “What am i even waking up to. i thought this was a reputable site.. all i see are a number of inaccurate statements and unproven assumptions lol. i’ve never asked for any title or tried to lie my way there EVER. period,” Kylie tweeted on May 29.”Even creating tax returns that were likely forged’ that’s your proof? so you just THOUGHT they were forged? like actually what am i reading.” She later added, “i can name a list of 100 things more important right now than fixating on how much money i have.” Forbes downgraded Kylie’s worth to just under $900 million. However, in December, Forbes named her the world’s highest paid celebrity of 2020 thanks to earnings of $590 million.
Didn’t see this one coming! On April 26, Kristin Cavallari and Jay Cutler announced that they were divorcing after nearly seven years of marriage and a decade as a couple. While they implied that the split was amicable, it got ugly quickly. Kristen shot down claims she felt that Jay was “unmotivated” and “lazy” after his NFL career ended. She also said “inappropriate marital conduct” triggered the divorce. A few weeks later, the “Very Cavallari” stars found some common ground. Just days after she accused the former NFL quarterback of blocking her from buying a new home, he agreed to give her marital funds so she could buy a property. On May 4, the couple also struck a custody agreement concerning their three children after fighting about who was the true primary caretaker. The divorce has also affected their “Very Cavallari” reality show. On May 19, Kristin announced that she was ending the series after three seasons. Later in the years, she reentered the dating pool and was spotted sharing PDA with comedian Jeff Dye on multiple occasions.
Justin Bieber was battling Lyme disease and chronic mono for most of 2019, he revealed on Jan. 8. “While a lot of people kept saying justin Bieber looks like s***, on meth etc. they failed to realize I’ve been recently diagnosed with Lyme disease,” he wrote on Instagram, adding that he also “had a serious case of chronic mono which affected my, skin, brain function, energy, and overall health.” He added, “It’s been a rough couple years but getting the right treatment that will help treat this so far incurable disease and I will be back and better than ever.” It was actually a big month for Justin. On Jan. 27, the “Yummy” singer also kicked off a 10-part documentary series on YouTube called “Justin Bieber: Seasons.” The doc detailed his health battle while making his first album in four years.
A judge granted former “The Bachelor” star Cassie Randolph a temporary restraining order against ex Colton Underwood on Sept. 14. Earlier, Cassie had alleged that Colton, who headed season 23 of the “The Bachelor,” was harassing her and her family and even put a tracking device on her car. In her complaint, she attached several text messages from Colton that she claimed showed he was stalking her. Things got more serious when she filed a police report in October and put special emphasis on the tracking device. On Nov. 3, however, Cassie dropped her restraining order against her ex. A police investigation into Colton’s behavior was also dropped at Cassie’s request. In a statement, Colton said he and Cassie “were able to reach a private agreement to address any of Cassie’s concerns.”
Shannen Doherty’s cancer is back. On Feb. 4, the “Beverly Hills, 90210” star revealed on “Good Morning America” that she has stage 4 cancer. The actress — who publicly chronicled a breast cancer battle from 2015 to 2017 — said she had known about her new diagnosis for a year, but kept it private. “I don’t think that I’ve processed it,” she said. “It’s a bitter pill to swallow in a lot of ways.” As for why she decided to come out with the revelation at that moment, she said the news was going to be made public in a lawsuit with insurer State Farm over unpaid claims related to damage to her house caused by 2018’s Los Angeles wildfires. The opening line of the lawsuit said, “Plaintiff Shannen Doherty is dying of stage 4 terminal cancer.” It added that she’s unable to live out “her remaining years peacefully in her home.”
Explosive trial, career repercussions
Johnny Depp lost a libel lawsuit against a London-based tabloid newspaper that once called him a “wife beater,” and the ruling had an immediate impact on his career as he was asked by Warner Bros. to resign from the “Fantastic Beasts” movie franchise. Over the summer, Johnny and ex-wife Amber Heard both delivered explosive testimony in a London courtroom in the case that saw both accusing the other of abuse and making salacious allegations. On Nov. 2, several months after testimony ended, the judge delivered a 129-page statement in which he said he’d determined that the newspaper’s claim that Johnny was abusive was “substantially true.” Throughout the court case, Johnny maintained that he never abused Amber, often pinning the blame on her. “I have reached these conclusions having examined in detail the 14 incidents on which the defendants rely, as well as the over-arching considerations which the claimant submitted I should take into account,” the judge said.
On Oct. 1, President Donald Trump announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19. The following day, he checked into Walter Reed Medical Center, where he stayed for three days and received treatments and care unavailable to the general population. As he returned to the White House, he claimed he felt 20 years younger. “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life,” he tweeted. Following his statement, Hollywood blasted him for his comments. Chris Evans wrote, “Don’t be afraid of Covid?! You’ve been under round-the-clock care by the best doctors using the best drugs. Do you really think everyone has access to that?! Sadly, I’m sure you’re aware of that disparity, you just don’t care. This is reckless to a shocking degree, even for you.” Amanda Kloots, who lost her husband, Broadway star Nick Cordero, to complications of the coronavirus, went hard. “Unfortunately it did dominate our lives didn’t it? It dominated Nick’s family’s lives and my family’s lives. I guess we ‘let it’ — like it was our choice?? Unfortunately not everyone is lucky enough to spend two days in the hospital,” the normally non-political actress said. Trump continued to irk Hollywood in November when he refusing to concede the presidential race to Joe Biden. In fact, Trump even prematurely declared victory.
The fight continues…
The Jussie Smollett drama is far from over. On Feb. 11, the former “Empire” star was indicted by a special prosecutor on six counts of disorderly conduct for falsely reporting an assault in 2019 — a move that came nearly a year after an initial set of charges against Jussie was controversially dropped. Jussie and his team have argued that new charges related to his alleged Chicago attack should be tossed because they equate to double jeopardy. A judge has ruled otherwise, noting that no judicial process ever occurred. In addition to the criminal case, Jussie is also facing a civil case with the City of Chicago concerning the same incident. The city insists the actor faked the attack and owes $130,000 for using city resources. In June, Jussie and his team argued via a court filing that police are lying about his case and the city is helping to cover it up.
A security breach, a breakup and a new romance
On May 4, the Daily Mail reported that Scott Disick had checked himself into Colorado’s luxurious All Points North Lodge rehab facility in late April. But just moments after the report was published, Scott checked out of the treatment center and headed back to Los Angeles. In the report, the Mail ran a photo of Scott taken inside the facility, likely during his initial check in. Therein lies the problem: The leaked photo was a massive security breach, and Scott wanted to sue, TMZ reported. A spokesman for the facility said it was “sickened” over the photo, which is believed to have been snapped by a staffer. While the Mail’s report claimed Scott was there for drug-related issues, his lawyer denied that, saying Scott was there “to work on his past traumas,” including the deaths of his parents. Where was his girlfriend, Sofia Richie, during all this? On May 21, Us Weekly reported that the two split and were “on a break.” Later reports confirmed it was over. Scott has since leaned on ex Kourtney Kardashian, even celebrating a serene birthday in Utah with her. Naturally, this sparked reconciliation rumors, which were proven false. In the fall, he was seen on dates with several women though in November seemed to settle into a new romance with another daughter of famous parents: 19-year-old Amelia Hamlin, whose folks are Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin.
“Cake Boss” star Buddy Valastro fears that he may never be able to bake his elaborate cakes again following a devastating hand injury he suffered in September. The hugely popular baker was rushed to the hospital after he impaled his hand several times during an accident at his in-home bowling alley. “I have a thing with my hands. If I get a paper cut on my hand, I’m p***** off. My hands to me are my lifeline of everything I do,” he told People magazine on Sept. 30. “And I wonder, ‘Am I ever going to do what I used to be able to do?'” Due to the accident, which caused nerve, tendon and muscle damage, Buddy had multiple surgeries on his right hand, which is his dominant hand. In discussing the incident with “Today,” Buddy said, “I thought I was going to faint, I looked at my hand and there was blood everywhere and I was stuck, the rod going back and forth because the machine goes back and forth.” He added, “Something told me to stay calm.” On Oct. 21, he announced that he’d undergone his third surgery.
On Dec. 20, music star Ariana Grande revealed on Instagram that she and her boyfriend of less than a year, real estate agent Dalton Gomez, are engaged. “Forever n then some,” she captioned a slideshow of photos of herself and her love plus her unique engagement ring. The engagement comes two years after she called off a brief engagement to comedian Pete Davidson.
Back and forth
Nick Cannon was fired by ViacomCBS — which owns MTV — on July 14 after he made controversial comments on his podcast that were widely viewed as vile and anti-Semitic. While speaking on “Cannon’s Class,” Nick also called white people “savages” and “barbaric.” ViacomCBS issued a statement saying it “condemns bigotry of any kind and we categorically denounce all forms of anti-Semitism,” saying Nick “promoted hateful speech and spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.” Afterward, Nick said ViacomCBS was bullying him, claiming the media company “misused an important moment for us to all grow closer together and learn more about one another.” He blasted the decision and contended that ViacomCBS was trying to “make an example of an outspoken Black man.” Nick further said the company was on “the wrong side of history.” He also demanded an apology from ViacomCBS. However,later that same week, Nick then issued an apology though claimed his “own community turned on” him. He then sent out some cryptic tweets and disturbingly listed his location as “heaven.” FOX ended up letting Nick continue hosting “The Masked Singer.”
Hollywood celebrates a new president-elect
On Nov. 7, four days after election day, most credible media outlets made it clear that Joe Biden became the president-elect even as some states continued to count votes and the current administration erroneously claimed, without proof that there was widespread voter fraud. In all, Biden got 306 electoral votes, the same number President Trump got in 2016 (he called it a “landslide” at the time). Following the projections, thousands around the country took to the streets to celebrate. Chrissy Teigen and John Legend were photographed at an impromptu outdoor celebration in Los Angeles, as were other stars. It’s no secret that, as a whole, Hollywood was firmly in Biden’s corner. Many A-listers were gleeful on social media. “Today is a good day,” Jennifer Aniston said on Instagram. With the victory, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris shattered yet another glass ceiling. Trump continued to insist the election was fraudulent and filed multiple lawsuits that courts tossed out for lack of evidence.
Tekashi 6ix9ine is a free man, and it’s thanks to the coronavirus. On April 2, a New York judge granted the rapper a compassionate release from prison effective immediately, stating that he should be allowed to finish his sentence at home and under supervision. The release came after the rapper (real name: Daniel Hernandez), via his lawyers, pleaded with the court to release him, claiming his asthma made him much more susceptible to contracting the coronavirus. Now that he’s out, 6ix9ine is on supervised release and has a GPS monitor attached to him. To say he immediately enjoyed his freedom would be an understatement. Reports claimed he bought “a fleet of luxury vehicles” and several massively expensive jewelry pieces. He also started shooting music videos in his backyard and dropped a new song in May, setting an Instagram Live record. Amid the windfall from his song, he tried to donate $200,000 to an organization that feeds hungry children, but his good deed was quickly rebuffed. The music star, who was convicted on racketeering charges and sentenced to two years in prison, is still believed to be a target of his former gang, as he testified against them in court for a reduced sentence. Just a day after his new song dropped, his lawyer said 6ix9ine was moved after the address of his house arrest accommodation was leaked online.
Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t mask his disappointment with his longtime gym (a world famous gym, no less). The bodybuilding icon has been working out at Gold’s Gym in Venice, California, for as long as anyone can remember. That changed in June… at least temporarily. According to TMZ, the “Terminator” star went to the gym for a morning workout on June 16, which was one of the first days that gyms were able to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic. While Arnold was wearing a mask upon entering the bodybuilding mecca, he noticed that several gym members in the middle of their workouts were not wearing masks. Front desk staff informed Arnold that people were required to wear masks when they entered and when they were in certain common areas, but that the law didn’t require them to wear masks when they’re actually working out. Arnold quickly left. The former California governor “will stay clear of Gold’s until people start wearing masks on the floor — or when there’s a vaccine,” TMZ explained. On June 18, Gold’s said it wouldn’t change its policy but completely supported Arnold’s decision.
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